I'm also a musician and despite what you just read, I do actually make music with the gear I acquire. I started making electronic music when I was 12, when my parents bought me a Korg Poly-800. I have made experimental and industrial, acid house and breaks, techno and ambient, and lately dream pop and krautrock. Like many others, there was a time when I worked entirely inside the box. But after picking up a Korg MS-20 Mini a few years back, I found myself drawn back into the world of hardware synthesizers.
One of the main reasons for this is I live in Japan, where the cost of second-hand items is significantly lower than in other countries. There are a number of explanations for this blessing, including small market size and lack of international participation due to the language barrier. But another reason, I believe, is because Japanese people tend to like their electronics to be cosmetically and functionally perfect, complete with instruction manual and original box. If a piece of gear doesn't have these things, or the pots are noisy, or maybe there's one dead key, the price will be significantly reduced.
So I've found myself with a ton of less-than-perfect gear that just needs a little cleaning, or maybe a key needs to be changed or a few contact switches cleaned. Perhaps there are some LEDs that don't work, or maybe the internal battery has died. Or perhaps they're just not your Jupiter 8’s or Mono/Poly’s, and so they're severely undervalued despite having lots of life left in them.
I have a few new pieces of gear, and I enjoy them immensely, but my heart belongs to odd vintage synths that don't work 100% correctly. Instead of lamenting their shortcomings, I embrace them. It really does feel like they have a soul, sometimes.
This blog will be a space for me to write about my relationship with these quirky instruments, how we get along (and sometimes don't). I'm going to also try and document any work I do on them as well, although I'm no expert. I'll also post videos and music where appropriate.
Thanks in advance for reading and listening.